Sometimes it takes a good breakfast cereal to help put things in perspective. Personally, I compare EVERY experience to a bowl of Trix ’cause it’s the gold standard of pleasure. Beyond my adolescent, some might say toddler, eating habits there’s another reason breakfast cereals are important to me. Here’s why.
Last year I joined a small and exciting company in the software industry. We’re a “startup,” and in the pursuit of world domination startups need funding. So along with inventing, marketing, selling and crying… uh trying…my colleagues and I have been working our tails off courting investors. “Dear Mr. ‘The Donald’, Have I got a deal for you!”
So one fine EARLY morning, after a VERY late night at the office, I was “pleasantly” awakened by our son’s whisper. “PSSST, Dad. Did you get the Cheerios and Oat Squares?” The typical, “You woke me up for THAT!” thought raced through my mind, but like all parents who love their kids to death, I shook my head and smiled through my sleepiness rather than hurl a shoe at him. Actually, I felt a pang of guilt because he specifically ordered…uh requested…that I pick up a few boxes on my way home from work.
“Oh, buddy, I’m sorry. I got home really late and forgot. I’ll get them tonight. Will you call to remind me?”
“OK,” he said, no doubt thinking, “If you want to get things done…”
I was impressed that he didn’t hurl a shoe at ME and wondered what he’d eat to replace the sack of oats and gallon of milk he consumes each morning. Perhaps his sister would have to wait until lunch for her first meal. He’s at that age where every meal is like the gasoline truck pulling up to refill the underground tanks at the filling station. meal. Needless to say, I was determined to fulfill my assignment that night and since my son was kind enough to kickstart my day at 4:30am, I went to work.
True to form, the thought of cereal remained absent from my brain until five seconds before I noticed I had a voice mail waiting on my cell phone.
“Dad! Don’t forget the Cheerios and Oat Squares! I love you. Bye.”
He’ll be taller than I am soon, he’s getting acne, talking a lot about girls and wanting to do everything on his own. But his voice still has a hint of baby-ness to compliment his lovable naivete. I played the message over and over until it got mixed up in my mind with our investor presentation. “Mr. Investor, our product will significantly help reduced your cost structure…especially after we throw in a box of Cheerios and Oat Squares! Oh and don’t forget…I love you. Bye.”
Anyway, I don’t know if there’s deep philosophical meaning to be drawn from all this, but what I came away with that night was that I love Venture Capitalists (fiduciarily speaking of course), I love breakfast cereal and I love my kids. Life is wonderful.
Editor’s Note: Along with “On Dad’s Watch” Michael writes a series of books he calls “Bedtime Stories about Capitalism,” which teaches kids about honest profit making. Visit http://www.kids4biz.com